In their first preseason game, the New York Islanders‘ offense was a little lagging. It sure woke up last night, though. Thanks to a pair of goals from Josh Bailey, the Islanders forged ahead, downing the New Jersey Devils 5-3 for their first win of the preseason. Now, again, it’s preseason hockey; it’s nothing really to get overly excited about. I, for one, however, am a little optimistic about this game, because it’s showing me that the secondary scoring the Islanders really need is ready to step up and take hold.
See last night, the combo of Bailey and Kyle Okposo, his normal linemate, connected for both goals, which were shorthanded. It shows me that those two guys still have their chemistry together, which is going to be key once the regular season opens in two weeks. In the past, I had felt Okposo was going to be playing with John Tavares and Matt Moulson, and that the lines may look different this season for the Islanders. Based on what I saw last night from Okposo and Bailey, I may have to rethink that as it seemed the two still had chemistry together — a little bit of magic, as well.
Bailey showed me something last year that I hadn’t really seen out of him. He showed that talent he has is finally willing and able to come out. Sure, last year Bailey didn’t score that many goals, but you noticed him a lot more on the ice, which is one of the main reasons the Islanders gave him the contract extension over the summer. Now this year will be the true test to see if he was really worth the signing.
I still think that this game is a sign of things to come for the Islanders this year. The Islanders have been lacking secondary scoring behind the John Tavares line. We saw that last year, and if the Islanders want to get a sniff of the playoffs again this season, the scoring is going to have to step up. Last night was a good indication of things to come from Bailey and his line.
What do you think?